Tales From Earthsea

Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Timothy Dalton, Mariska Hargitay, Willem Dafoe

Director: Goro Miyazaki

Demons are everywhere, but the ones that do the most damage are normally entwined within our own souls. A wandering wizard on a quest, a young prince with a darkness that’s slowly eating away his very being, a disgruntled sorcerer willing to ruin the unique balance that holds together the Earthsea and a young girl with a mysterious scar who may be the chosen one from the prophecy!

I know it sounds like an epic worthy of THE LORD OF THE RINGS treatment, and indeed the story is wonderfully philosophical, adventurous and magical as all good stories should be. Despite its wondrous setting, ultimately the characters and their journeys are what draws you into to this emotionally charged animated film from Japan’s Studio Ghibli.

Dubbed into English by the well known voices of Timothy Dalton, Willem Dafoe and several others, their voices are all perfectly suited to their characters.

Where this film stands out from the other more recent efforts from Studio Ghibli is that at the core of this imaginary world there are characters with issues that adults and children alike can easily relate to. This draws you into their journeys in a way that I personally last felt only after seeing last year’s magical PAN’S LABYRINTH which at the emotional core has the same aura as this beautifully realised piece of animation.

An amazing film for young and old alike, proof that films can still stir you up in all the right ways!

5 out of 6 stars

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